So was going through photos from the trip to Australia at the start of the year. When riding down to see the Queen Stage of the Tour Down Under dropped by the cemetery were my grandparents were buried. Unfortunately my Grandad died when my mum was 6 months old so I never got to meet him. My Nan died when I was 13 but had a huge influence on my early life.
Stubborn, argumentative and competitive she was a tough women who lived in a few remote communities during her time (including being first women on site at Radium Hill (A uranium mine in Outback Oz) which included such adventures as killing snakes in the laundry room). I remember her telling a story about bike racing as a young girl as well but are not sure of all the details around that. Nan was proudly Australian, a little annoyed that all her children married "POMS" (English) and was pretty big into sport.
When I registered for Kona online I had to think which country i would represent. I am about to apply for my Canadian citizenship and after 5 years definitely see myself as a little Canadian. However I know in the Winter Olympics i was cheering for Dale Begg-Smith much to the chagrin of many a Canadian. So for this time around I felt having AUS next to my name in the guide was the right thing to do.
When I grab that Aussie flag will make sure to think of everyone back in Australia who has and still have a huge influence on my life. It just happens that race day this year in Kona is on the 9th of October which is the same day that my Nan passed away 17 years ago. When the going gets tough out there I will make sure to draw on that stubbornness, toughness and determination that Nan taught me and push on through the pain.